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Ti}E nsYLam 

Quarterly Journal of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society 

Volume IX, No. 4 Fall, 1991 


President’s Message 4 

The Development of the Cataloguer’s Style 5 

Have You Checked Head’s? 10 

A. M. Smith’s Coins and Coinage 13 

The Printer’s Devil 18 

A.NA. Convention Notebook 22 

The Armand Champa Exhibit 24 

Al Szego - A Remembrance 27 

The Asylum 

9{ou> Available 

John W. Adams 


Volume II 


420 pages, 22 plates, pictorial endsheets. Specially bound. Printed 
on acid-free paper in an edition limited to 500 numbered copies 

$135.00 postpaid 


The Following Series Are Covered in Depth: 

G. C. Adams • A. N. A. Sales • Barney Bluestone 
Thomas Elder • Federal Brand • Ben Green • William 
Hesslein • Kagin's • Frank Katen • A. Kosoff • B. Max 
Mehl • New Netherlands Coin Company • Wayte 
Raymond • Hans M. F. Schulman • Stack's 

Part I is directed toward the numismatic bibliophile and comprises 


Part II is directed toward the numismatic researcher and consists 



Fine Numismatic Books 
Post Office Drawer 3100 
Crestline, California 92325 USA 
Tel: [714] 338-6527 . Fax: [714] 338-6980 

Fall, 1991 


Numismatic Bibliomania Society 

Vice President 
Wayne Homren 
1810 Antietam St 
Pittsburgh, PA 15206 


P. Scott Rubin Secretary-Treasurer 

Box 6885 Kenneth Lowe 

Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 Box 43286 

Richmond Hts, OH 44143 

Members of the Board 

Armand Champa, Box 22316, Louisville, KY 40222 
Charles Davis, Box 1412, Morristown, NJ 07962 
Joel Orosz, 4300 Old Field Trail, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 
Jeffrey Peck, Box 657, Oaks, PA 19456 
Michael Sullivan, Box 32131, Cincinnati, OH 45232 
Barry Tayman, 5424 Smooth Meadow Way, Columbia, MD 21044 

The Asylum 

Vol. IX No 4 Consecutive Issue Fall, 1991 

Editor: Charles Davis, NLG 
Box 1412, Morristown, NJ 07962 

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© 1991 Numismatic Bibliomania Society 


The Asylum 

President’s Message 

P. Scott Rubin 

It was great seeing so many members of our Society at the A.NA 
Convention and to meet in person those whom I had only known by name. I 
know I had a good time at the convention and hope that many of you will join 
us next year in Orlando. In the mean time, to fill the meeting gap from August 
to August, our Board of Governors has voted to establish regional chairpersons 
to organize N.B.S. educational gatherings around the country. If you would like 
to represent your region of the country, please contact me to discuss potential 
responsibilities. Fred Lake has already volunteered to be a regional 
chairperson, and will begin by arranging an N.B.S. gathering at the 1992 F.U.N. 

I wish to thank Armand Champa for the wonderful exhibit of 
Numismatic Literature he displayed at the A.NA. convention. If you missed 
the convention or somehow made the convention and missed his exhibit, you 
missed, without a doubt, the best visual of the whole affair. Look for a report 
on the exhibit and on the Exhibit catalogue produced by George Kolbe 
elsewhere in this issue. I also wish to thank N.B.S. member Michael Hodder 
for his delightful talk at the General Meeting, the text of which is carried in this 
issue. By the response of the audience, I know that it was one of the highlights 
of the convention. 

Finally, the A.NA. Board has approved our request to have an 
exhibition class for Numismatic Literature starting at next year’s convention in 
Orlando. Once the motion was approved, our Board voted unanimously to call 
it the Aaron Feldman award. N.B.S, through the generous help of our 
membership, has funded a $3,000 endowment for the prize. Thanks for all the 
support. The description of the award as furnished to the A.NA. is all 
encompassing and should allow a great deal of latitude in participating: 

Class 22 - Numismatic Literature - Aaron Feldman Memorial. 

Printed and manuscript, published or unpublished; literature 

dealing with all numismatic subjects, American or Foreign, 

Ancient or Modern. 

I hope you will continue your support of our organization, by coming to regional 
meetings, writing for The Asylum, and, by all means, exhibiting at next year’s 
A.NA. Convention. 

Fall, 1991 


Development of the Cataloguer’s Style 

Michael Hodder 

[The following is a transcription of Mr. Modeler's talk at the 1991 N.D.S. General Meeting. We are 
greatly indebted to him for the insights it contains, and for the permission to print it] 

I wish I had some funny things to say to keep in the spirit of what’s 
been going on, but I think this may be a little more serious. I am, by 
background, a historian; a medievalist which is to say that is what I studied in 
school - medieval French and English history. I did not really collect coins, 
although when I was twelve years old I did collect Roman denarii of which I 
had about twelve, the twelve Caesars. This was primarily to have little pieces 
to show me pictures of the emperors I was reading about. So I had no real 
collecting experience, and I don’t collect anything now except information. I 
had never seen a U.S. coin of any sort, except what I had for pocket change up 
until February of 1980 when I was hired by Sotheby’s to be an apprentice coin 
cataloguer. I joined the firm on a Monday, was put on probation for six 
months, and on Tuesday was given the Luther M. Otto collection of Large 
Cents to prepare for auction sale. Previously, I had never seen a large cent and, 
frankly, did not know that they even existed. They gave me a copy of Sheldon 
and a copy of the A AM. Grading Standards Handbook. So you can imagine me 
sitting there in my Sotheby’s three piece pinstriped suit with a 1793 Chain Cent 
in one hand and a copy of the ANA Grading Standards in the other. The 
Handbook notes that for "VF 1 the line of hair should be broken, and I look at 
the coin, and Yes! it’s broken, so VF. 

The Otto sale happened in June of 1980, and the catalogue descriptions 
(I’m going to try to keep this focused on the development of the cataloguing 
style) were nothing more than the date of the coin, the Sheldon number, the 
grade as best as I could do it, and a guess at rarity - pure guess mostly taken 
out of Sheldon. I might have said there is a scratch here, or a flaw there, or a 
clip, but that was essentially it. At the sale, my catalogue descriptions were 
reviewed by Denis Loring and Tony Terranova, who had wonderful laughs over 
the grading, and who snapped up some coins at fairly cheap prices. They did, 
however, tell me that I got all the attributions correct, which I thought was 
pretty good considering my inexperience. 

Moving on in time to 1983, I had been at Sotheby’s for three years and 
was the head of their coin department, and received what turned out to be two 
major collections. The first was the Scott-Kinnear collection of United States 
Gold, which was very heavy in Pioneer, Territorial and San Francisco issues. 
The second was the S. Hallock du Pont Collection of U.S. Gold Coins including 
a complete set of Stellas, and a really remarkable collection of European Gold 
coins including a 100 Ducats of Leopold the Hogmouth of Austria, a gorgeous 
big, heavy piece. My catalogue descriptions by 1983 were pretty much as they 
had been in 1980, but now I started noticing things like surface quality, 
particularly in San Francisco mint issues, and the quality of the strike. I had a 
little better handle on rarities, and, more importantly, I started sticking-in some 


The Asylum 

historical information, primarily on the territorial issues. This was possible 
primarily because it was stolen directly from Don Kagin’s book, which had just 
been published. But the important thing is (and I should note at this stage 
standing in front of a group of collectors of numismatic literature, that I feel 
something like a lion at a big game hunter’s convention) that I am trying to 
describe to you how a cataloguer’s style develops through my own personal 
experiences. I had absolutely no awareness in 1983 of things like pedigree. 
You must remember that I had never collected coins, did not know anything 
about numismatic literature, and had had no connection with any U.S. auction 
firms whatsoever. I was in a rather sheltered environment at Sotheby, Parke 
Bernet, or Sotheby’s at the time, which considered itself to be the absolute 
pinnacle of auctions and did not have to worry how the rest of the world did it, 
because we did it the Sotheby’s way. 

There was no awareness of pedigree, but I had by 1983 begun to 
wonder or to make numismatic speculations. For instance, Hallock du Pont had 
a complete set of Stellas, all four varieties. In cataloguing them, I noticed that 
the striations tended to go in different directions from coin to coin, and I put 
some information and my speculations in the catalogue descriptions. That was 
the first time I ever ventured into print with some of my own personal feelings 
or research, and it became the basis for what I did later on with Sellas. I think 
this phenomenon (although Carlson disagrees) indicates that the planchets had 
been adjusted prior to striking. These are not roller striations as Carlson 
suggests, if you are familiar with our controversy. 

Between 1983 and 1985 I moved from Sotheby’s to Spink & Son in New 
York, where I ran their operation for a short time before they folded (through 
no fault of mine as it was doomed from the beginning). And then in April 1984 
I was hired by Bowers and Merena in Wolfeboro to catalogue their foreign 

Between April of 1984 and January 1985, I must have showed Dave 
some interest, talent or ability, or perhaps been stupid enough to volunteer to 
catalogue some tokens. So in March, 1985, B & M had their March Sale, which 
was very heavy into medals, tokens, and exonumia. An important consignment 
in that sale had come from a noted Southwestern collector, Mr. John J. Ford 
Jr. Now I am trying to pitch this to collectors of numismatic literature and am 
not suggesting that what I write is collectible, but if you can look into my work, 
you may use the basis of what I am saying and see how a cataloguer’s style 
develops. If you compare what I had done with foreign coins in the B & M 
auction sales in 1984 with what I had done in the March sale of 1985 with J. J.’s 
material, you will see that a watershed has been reached, a real sea change, 
which I ascribe in large measure to John’s attempt to impose internal 
consistency upon my catalogue descriptions. 

Today, when I catalogue a coin, I use a dictaphone. I have the coin in 
front of me, a dictaphone next to me, and the coin, which has some basic 
information on its work envelope. My job is to write a word picture of that 
coin so that someone who can not see it will feel confident enough to go ahead 
and buy it. This will include things like denomination, date, mint mark, grade, 

Fall, 1991 


rarity, surface condition, edge condition, pedigree, prior auction appearances, 
and comparisons with other coins. By doing all that on a dictaphone machine 
off the top of the head, it is inevitable that anyone is going to come out with a 
bit of a hodgepodge from one lot to another. In one description the grade will 
follow directly after the date. In the second one, you will say the date, see a big 
scratch and say "scratch, VF-35." Ford likes consistency, and his attempt was 
to impose that discipline upon my descriptions. Although I am sure John will 
disagree as they were not all as perfect as he would like to have seen them, 
many, if not all, of the descriptions in the March Sale of 1985 follow a single, 
set cadence. There was an identification of the object being sold, followed by 
a grade, followed by a description of surface conditions, followed by indications 
of rarity, followed by any other numismatic information I wanted to put in, 
followed by some historical digression designed either to indicate the rarity of 
the piece or to persuade somebody that it is interesting enough to go ahead and 
bid on. 

Skipping ahead in time, between 1985 and 1987, 1 catalogued a number 
of other collections, but most importantly I did the Taylor Sale (March 1987), 
and the Dreyfuss Collection (June 1987). Those were, for me, two landmark 
sales in which I tried to incorporate what I had learned from John about 
internal consistency in catalogue descriptions with my basic historical interests 
in coins. The Taylor Collection arrived in Wolfeboro in November of 1986, 
and, for some reason, Bowers decided to set a schedule for March, 1987. Now 
those of you who collect Colonial coins probably know that there were literally 
hundreds and hundreds of coins. Many of them were unattributed, none with 
any indication of rarity, and none with any real solid pedigree information. And 
prior to that March Sale, I had never really seen a Colonial coin, let alone 
catalogue one. So the collection arrived in November, and we had 
approximately a month to complete the catalogue for delivery to the printers. 
My responsibilities involved cataloguing only Taylor’s Connecticuts. Most 
people are not aware of that I did only the Connecticuts. Dave Bowers did all 
the other Colonials in that sale. My portion, all the Connecticuts, was 
completed in five days. If you can imagine my desk, I had Taylor’s coins in 
front of me, on my left was Garrett III, above was Pine Tree E.A.C. 1975, on 
the other side were various Bowers and Merena catalogues, and on my extreme 
left was New Netherlands 60th Sale, [audience: and an ANA Grading Guide?]. 
No ANA Grading Guide! By that time I had sort of a feel for coins. What I 
would do is after grading the coin, I would refer to all these various catalogues 
to get a sense of where it might exist in the Condition Census. I would call 
guys like Jeff Rock and ask for help as to whether this is a rarity, and where 
does it fall into the CC. 

I would get all this information down onto a piece of paper, and by 
now I had come up with a little trick. When I catalogue a coin, any series of 
coins, I start by creating a template for myself, an idea I directly stole from 
Ford! The template is going to be the cadence of the auction catalogue 
description. Each bit of information that I am going to put into the catalogue 
is placed in sequence on the template. Then, when I am sitting in front of the 


The Asylum 

dictaphone, I have only to fill in the blanks. And that’s how I could do the 
Taylor sale in only five days, because I had some internal structure into which 
I could plug the information. The CC’s were still guesses. References to other 
pieces sold and how Taylor’s coins stacked up with those other pieces still were 
guesses, but they were getting a little bit better. 

In the Taylor Sale for the first time, I started playing with things like 
emission sequences. Since I had such a large collection of Connecticuts, I could 
look at common reverses married to different obverse dies, and noticing die 
breaks, begin to make stabs at die emission sequences. While many of these 
were childish as I had really nothing much to go by prior to that, some of them 
will still actually hold. In the Taylor sale, I decided to throw in information 
which generally does not get put into catalogue descriptions such as the weights 
of coins, which I consider to be quite important. Other catalogers do put in 
weights of coins. Stack’s did until recently when their scale broke. But I also 
threw in characteristics like diameters and reverse die axes of coins. 

Please remember that my background is history. I studied coins at the 
A.N.S. at the Summer Seminar for Graduate Students in 1978 primarily as a 
way of getting a paid trip to New York where my wife lived, as I was in school 
in Berkeley and had no money and no way to get to New York. So I applied 
for the ANS grant, it was awarded, and that is how I got to New York. 

As a result of the A.N.S. program, I learned the importance of the 
technical information you can gather from reporting diameters, weights and die 
axes of coins, much of which I into the Taylor catalogue descriptions. I don’t 
know how any of you felt about seeing that in the sale, and while it probably 
seemed fairly alien to many of you, it was basic to what I am now doing with 
early Colonials. In a commercial auction firm, the goal is to sell the coin, with 
any other objectives being secondary. Some firms don’t care about having any 
of the extra descriptive material at all. The Bowers firm is one of the few 
around that encourages the historical and technical information in the catalogue 
description. However, where you place it can be the problem. You have, 
perhaps, a Connecticut Copper, Miller 1.1-A. The date and the attribution 
number come first; then you have a problem as what to put next. Do you stick 
the rarity in next, followed by the grade, followed by the weight, and all the rest 
of the stuff, or do you put the grade ahead of the weight, and so on. I still have 
not settled in my mind where grade should go. David [Bowers] prefers grade 
directly after the denomination and date, because he believes that nobody reads 
anything other than that in the catalogue descriptions, and some dealers have 
told me that’s quite true. I tend to put the grade in pretty much where I feel 
like putting it in dependent on how strongly I think I am going to get criticized 
by Bowers and how 1 feel that particular morning. 

The Dreyfuss sale which I did in June, 1987, was a sale of medals and 
tokens, most of which 1 had never seen before as types let alone specific pieces. 
Dreyfuss was a Washington D.C. based collector whose collection came to us 
through, and with the assistance and the joint billing of, Joe Levine. Joe packed 
up the collection in cardboard boxes, the contents of which seemed fairly 
random, and they were shipped up to our bank vaults in Wolfeboro, and then 

Fall, 1991 


to my office at Bowers and Merena. My office is perhaps from that wall there 
to this chair here. There were thousands and thousands and thousands of items 
that I had to unpack and lay out all over the floor. I had the floor and every 
shelf covered with medals and plaques. I had to be careful where I moved my 
chair so that I wouldn’t roll over something. If someone wanted to come and 
see me, they had to knock on the door first, and we had to prepare a little path 
to my desk for fear of stepping on something. Nothing was at all organized 
whatsoever. In both the Dreyfuss and Taylor Sales, I began doing things like 
using single line headnotes to capture the reader’s eye and also to convey 
information such as the rarity, the desirability, or the importance of a piece: 
Andrew Johnson Silver Indian Peace Medal 62mm. The descriptions were now 
more internally consistent because I had been getting used to what I had 
learned, and what I had been taught by Ford. I had better guesses at the rarity 
of items, as I did also in the Taylor sale, and was now beginning to make 
references to past sales of similar items. I now had pedigree information. 
There was a lot more numismatic speculation in the catalogue descriptions, and 
I was putting in historical 6 point type footnotes. 

Now this all probably sounds extremely familiar to you collectors of 
numismatic literature. It more than likely sounds like New Netherlands auction 
cataloguing style. I have thought about this a lot, because I don’t like to borrow 
from anybody. I am not certain that my style is a conscious borrowing from 
New Netherlands, or from the later Pine Tree sales. What I do think is that my 
cataloguing style is a combination of three particular factors. 1) John Ford’s 
influence, which in my numismatic growth or development, has been 
predominant or paramount. John has been a remarkable influence upon me. 
2) Dave Bower’s influence. David is the premier showman/salesman in 
numismatics. He is the best marketeer in numismatics I have seen, perhaps 
after B. Max Mehl. His influence has stressed getting the coin sold in the very 
first sentence fragment of the catalogue description in case potential bidders 
don’t read any further along. 3) And the third factor is the use of techniques 
like single or double line headnotes to indicate the rarity or desirability of items, 
the use of bold type within a catalogue description text to draw the eye of the 
reader directly to Rarity 7+ or Only one sold this century, and the use of 6 
point type historical notes after the catalogue description, which one may read 
or not read as he pleases. These all seem to me to be sort of logical and 
natural solutions to the problem ol how to catalogue coins. So the three 
influences on my cataloguing style are John Ford, Dave Bowers and what I feel 
is the logical and proper way of cataloguing a coin. In me, you see somebody 
who came to this brand new with no background, and whose style has slowly 
developed into what I hope to be considered my own particular personal style; 
but one whose style could not obviously get away from the most important 
influence in numismatic cataloguing in numismatic history in the States, at any 
rate, that of John J. Ford of the New Netherlands Rare Coin Company. 


The Asylum 

Have you Checked Head’s 

L. V. Reppeteau 

For over a hundred years, whenever numismatists gathered to discuss 
ancient Greek coinage, an often heard inquiry has been: "Have you checked 
Head’s?" Translation of such numismatic shorthand being: "What does the 
Historia Numorum,’ a manual of Greek numismatics, by Barclay V. Head, have 
to say on the subject?" Alas, while many know the book, few know the man 
who wrote such an authoritative and enduring text. 

Barclay Vincent Head, born January 2, 1844, in Ipswich, Suffolk, 
England, was the second son of an old and respected Quaker family. In fact, 
the Barclay of his name is in honor of one of his Quaker ancestors, Robert 
Barclay (1648-1692), author of Apology’ of the People Called Quaker. Young 
Head received his education at a local grammar school, which he left at the age 
of seventeen. (It should be noted that in Britain at the time, "grammar school" 
was one in which both classical Greek and Latin were taught.) Barclay must 
have been a natural scholar, for next we find him at the tender age of twenty 
being appointed on February 12, 1864 as an assistant to William Vaux, the 
British Museum’s first Keeper of Coins and Medals (1860-1870). 

Fortunately for young Barclay, this was the golden age for classical 
numismatics in England. Queen Victoria sat on the throne, and the far corners 
of the world were awash with Englishmen, gentlemen whose adventures busily 
liberated archaeological treasures which flowed back to that great attic and 
cellar of the Empire - The British Museum. Part of these riches were packets 
of Ancient Greek coins, coins in need of identification and cataloguing. If ever 
there was a man for the time and the task, it was Barclay Head, who with a 
single-minded purpose, worked 10-12 hours a day, six days a week sorting, 
analyzing, classifying, and cataloguing coinage of long gone civilizations. Upon 
the retirement of Reginald Stuart Poole in January 1893, Head was appointed 
Keeper of Coins and Medals, a position he held for the next thirteen years until 
his retirement in 1906. 

The first of Head’s mountains of contributions to numismatic literature 
appears to have been a paper on "Anglo-Saxon Coins with Runic Legends” 
published in 1868 by the Numismatic Society of London. In the next year he 
became "Joint Editor" of The Numismatic Chronicle , a position he was to fill for 
the next thirty-one years. It was also in 1869 that he wed Mary Corkran, 
daughter of an Irish author and journalist John Frazer Corkran. They were 
married for thirty-two years and had one daughter. 

In 1870, the Coin and Medals Department of the Museum embarked 
upon producing the epic series Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum , 
the first of what was to become a twenty-nine volume series was published in 
1873 with the project finally completed in 1927. Head was to be involved in the 
actual writing/editing of ten of those books. 

1880 saw the birth of one of the most enduring numismatic books to 
be published by the British Museum, Head’s Guide to the Principal Gold and 

Fall, 1991 


Silver Coins of the Ancients, 700BC to AD 1. Its express purpose was to 
popularize ancient coins for both the general public and for the collector. In 
this, the book was an outstanding success. Public acceptance was so great that 
after only one year, there was a need for a second edition. Since that time, 
there have been some twenty reprints. 

In 1932, Sir George F. Hill, then Director and Principal Librarian of 
the Museum updated the format and text. It was then reissued under the new 
title of A Guide to the Principal Coins of the Greeks from circ 700BC to AD 270. 
A second revision was made in 1959 by John Walker, then Keeper of the Coins, 
with a reprint in 1965. 

However Head’s most famous work has proved to be that which is 
often called the "Bible of Greek Numismatics," his Historia Nwnorum , first 
published in 1877 by Clarendon Press, Oxford. In 1911, after his retirement 
from the Museum, he rewrote the work being assisted by that famous trio of 
British numismatists of Hill, George McDonald, and Warwich Wroth. The 
second edition was increased from 807 to 966 pages and is available in reprint 

Even though Head had received an honorary degree from Durham 
University in 1887, and another from Oxford in 1905, recognition of his work 
was slow in coming within his own country. But across the Channel, it was 
another story. Early in his career, Heidleburg University, the French and 
Prussian Academies, along with numerous continental societies commenced 
bestowing degrees and awards in recognition of his work and contributions to 
the numismatic community. 

Barclay was justly proud of his various degrees and honors gleaned over 
the years. However, it has been said that he was proudest of the Corolla 
Numisrnatica, written by thirty scholars of six nations, edited by George E. Hill, 
and dedicated to Head upon his retirement from the Museum in 1906. 

Head passed away at the age of 70 in London on June 12, 1914. One 
of the best obituaries and tributes that I have seen was written by Hill, who had 
entered the museum’s Coin Department in 1893. He refers to Head as "... a 
gentle and amiable scholar ..." and that "Head’s work should rank as a classic 
in the annals of numismatics; severely as he limited his scope, he was no narrow 
specialist, and his judgement, deliberate, was yet instinctively so sound that even 
his few mistakes are illuminating." 

The catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum in 29 volumes 
was commenced in 1890 and completed in 1927. Head authored eight of these 
and collaborated on an additional two. All were reprinted in 1963 at Bologna. 


• Volume 2: Sicily, with R. S. Poole, and P. Gardner, 1876, 292pp, ill 

• Volume 3: Trace , with P. Gardner, 1876, 292pp, ill 


• Volume 5: Macedonia, 1879, 200pp, ill 

• Volume 8: Central Greece, 1884, 158pp, ill 

• Volume 11: Attica, Megans, Aegina, 1888, 174pp, ill 


The Asylum 

• Volume 12: Corinth, Colonies of Corinth, 1889, 173pp, ill 

• Volume 16: Ionia , 1892, 453pp, ill 

• Volume 18: Carin and the Islands , 1897, 325pp, ill 

• Volume 22: Lydia, 1901, 440pp, ill 

• Volume 25: Phrygia, 1906, 491pp, ill 

Also by Head 

• Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum, selected coins 
exhibited in electrotype, 1872, 48pp 

• On the Chronological Sequence of the coins of Syracuse, 1874, 80pp 

• Coinage of Lydia and Persia, 1877, 59pp, ill (reprinted 1967, Pegasus 
Publishing, San Diego) 

• Synopsis of the contents of the British Museum ... A guide to the 
select Greek and Roman coins exhibited in electrotype, 1880, 128pp 

• Guide to the Principal Gold and Silver Coins of the Ancients, 700BC 
to AD 1, 1880, 128pp, ill; 

• Historia Numorum: A Manual of Greek Numismatics, 1887, 807pp, 
ill; enlarged edition, 1911 

Miscellaneous Papers (the author would be pleased to know of others) 

• Anglo-Saxon Coins with Runic Legends, 1868, communicated to the 
Numismatic Society of London 

• On the Religious Character of Greek Coins, 1870 

• On The Chronological Sequence of the Coins of Syracuse, 1874 

• Metrological Notes on the Ancient Electrum Coins Struck Between the 
Lebantion Wars and the Accession of Daricas, 1875, 53pp 

• Himaryite and Other Arabian Imitations of Athenian Coins, 1878 

• On The Chronological Sequence of the Coins of Sphesus, 1880 

• On The Chronological Sequence of the Coins of Boeotia, 1881 

• Remarks on two Unique Coins of Aetna and Zanele, 1883, 
Numismatic Chronicle . Series 3, Volume 3 

• Electrum Coins and Their Specific Gravity, 1887, Numismatic 
Chronicle . Series 3, Volume 7 

• Archaic Coins of Cyrene, 1891 

• The Greek Autonomous Coins from the Cabinet of the Late Mr 
Edward Wigan, nd, 62pp 

Quote without comment: "The Bibliomania meeting plays to a full 
house. Anyone who claims there’s more numismatic scholarship in that 
room than on the entire bourse floor will get no argument from me.” 

... Denis Loring in his report on the A.N.A. in Penny tWie, Sept, 1991 

Fall, 1991 


A.M. Smith’s Coins and Coinage : A Trial List 

Pete Smith 

A. M. Smith 1 published three numismatic references between 1881 and 
1886, with Coins and Coinage, The United States Mint, Philadelphia being issued 
continuously during that period. This title evolved into the Visitor's Guide and 
History of the United States Mint, Philadelphia which was published concurrently 
1885-1886. His major work was the Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Gold and Silver 
Coins of the World published in 1886. 

Cataloguers of numismatic literature have been aware that there are 
several varieties of these publications. There are at least nine varieties each of 
the Visitor’s Guide and of Hie Encyclopaedia. It is, however, Coins and Coinage 
that has had a seemingly uncountable number of varieties. The purpose of this 
paper, then, will be the development of a trial list of them. While I expect that 
additional listings will be discovered, I recognize the list is incomplete, but what 
better way to start. 

Smith also published a newsletter, Coin Collectors’ of the United States 
Illustrated Guide. In his issue for August 1881 he noted: "We have now a work 
that stands second to none, it will be issued in November. It will have several 
hundred illustrations of all the processes of how money is made in the U. S. 
Mint and the early ages of Europe. Full and complete history of American 
Colonial coins, and of all the U. S. coins with the value of the rare coins. 
Illustrated so that any child can learn and understand it, no labor or expense 
will be saved to make this little work a standard on coins. Its price will be 
within reach of all, the cost of the book will be 50 cents, paper cover. But to 
all those who subscribe for it, before it is out, we only charge 50 cents in heavy 
paper, cloth bound." 

Coins and Coinage was, prior to the publication of George Evans’ 
Illustrated History of the United States Mint, the standard reference on mint 
activities. Both books use many of the same illustrations, and both were sold 
in quantities, in excess of 100,000 each, that would make them best sellers by 
today’s standards. While we believe that Coins and Coinage and the Visitor’s 
Guide were sold over the counter at the Mint to people taking tours, no records 
to substantiate that have been located in the National Archives. 

Attempting to list the varieties of Smith’s Coin and Coinage represented 
a challenge. While dozens of catalogue listings have been checked, their 
descriptions have usually been incomplete or incorrect. As there has been no 
standard listing of varieties, few catalogues descriptions contained enough of the 
diagnostic features to determine the variety. 

I currently have six different varieties of Coins and Coinage in my 
collection. Recently, I had the opportunity to examine nine copies in the Eric 
Newman Library. What astonished me is that his nine were varieties distinct 
from my six. I do not know what the probability is, but it makes me suspect 
that there may be many other varieties not included in either collection. In 
addition, two new varieties were seen at the recent A.N.A. Convention, and 


The Asylum 

Armand Champa’s library contributed three more. So far, these seem to 
represent five basic editions, with seven minor varieties. Differences in the 
bindings bring the number of identified variants to 27. Obviously I will not feel 
comfortable until I start to see more duplicates of those already examined. 

This article will include two parts. First will be a description of the 
variable features that can be used to identify different varieties. Second will be 
a listing of known varieties. 

Titles: Take your pick. The commonly used title is Coins and Coinage. 
The best complete title is probably Coins and Coinage. The United States Mint, 
Philadelphia, History, Biography, Statistics, Work, Machine;}’, Products, Officials. 
The paper covered copies have an alternate title Illustrated History of the U.S. 
Mint. In hardbound versions through 1884, the paper cover from the softbound 
edition is bound in as a frontis illustration. A third title U.S. Mint and Coins, 
appears on the spine of some editions. One version has Coins and Coinage, 
United States Mint on the spine. 

Dates: While several dates appear within the contents of some editions, 
I have attempted to establish the approximate dates of publication of all. In 
addition, there are transitional pieces that include new information at the end 
of old editions, this material being incorporated in the text in later editions. 
Transitional pieces are designated "E" for early, "M" for middle, and "L" for late. 
Finally, some editions include material that is presumed to be later than another 
edition as well as material known to be earlier than that other edition. These 
are labeled "T" for throwback. 

(1881) First Edition. Dated on the cover or frontis illustration. 

Probably released about November 1881. A letter from 
Secretary Sherman dated January 1, 1881 appears in the text 
on page 119. 

(1882) Second Edition. Labeled Fourth Edition for reasons still 
unknown. 1882 is arbitrary date as these versions are later 
than 1881s and earlier than 1883s. These are the only varieties 
that indicate an edition number. 

(1883E) Text includes description of the new 1883 five cent piece. 

Published after the coin was issued February 1, 1883, but 
before "CENTS" was added to the reverse. A letter from 
Secretary Folger dated January 1, 1883 appears on page 119. 

(1883L) Third Edition. With illustration of "CENTS" reverse on 1883 
five cent piece. Published after March 1, 1883. 

(1884) Fourth Edition. Dated on frontis illustration; the last page 
refers to mintage of 1884. 

(1885) Fifth Edition. Frontispiece of Daniel Fox, who was appointed 
7/1/85. Text includes his biography on pages 1-4. 

(1886) The last page has an ad for Smith’s Illustrated Encyclopaedia 
of Gold and Silver Coins of the World published in 1886. 

Fall, 1991 


Binding: Catalogue descriptions have called the binding calf, goat, roan, 
sheep, or morocco. As I cannot tell the dilference, if there is one, I will simply 
use the term leather. The following bindings have been used. 

1. Paper, seen in cream or peach although pink is more common. 

2. Cloth, green, olive or brown; seen only on 1881 edition. 

3. Quarter leather, marbled card covers. 

4. Half leather, color are confusing. Generally colors run in two 
ranges: light brown, dark brown or black and red or burgundy. 
Some colors may be original, some faded or redyed. 

5. Full leather, listed in sale catalogues but not seen by this writer. 

Spine: The imprint exists in at least four varieties, the type probably 
being distributed between editions. These varieties seen: 

1 U.S. MINT AND COINS. - A. M. SMITH ("AND" at angle) (1881) 

2 U.S. MINT AND COINS. * A. M. SMITH ("AND" curved) 

3 U.S. MINT AND COINS. * A. M. SMITH ("AND" at angle) 


Pages: A typical listing may show the page count as 2/120/8. This 
indicates there are two unnumbered, 120 numbered, and eight unnumbered 
pages at the end. The paper cover version would omit the first two pages. A 
blank back page is not included in the count. The frontis illustration and last 
page are frequently printed back to back with the patterned endpapers. 

Snowden/Fox: A steel plate engraving of the superintendent of the mint 
appears as a frontispiece in many varieties. The Snowden portrait was engraved 
by Samuel Sartain while that of Fox was prepared by John Sartain. Snowden 
appears in the 1881-1884 editions, but in some copies the engraving was either 
never present or has been removed. The location of his biography, however, is 
diagnostic for the five editions - page 43 (1st, 1881); page 48 (2nd, 1882 and 
1883E); page 51 (3rd, 1883L, 1884E) and page 37 (4th, 1884L). Fox appears on 
the frontispiece for the 5th (1885-86) edition with his biography on pages 1-4. 

Size: Sizes are variable and may be diagnostic although not enough 
pieces have been seen. Small differences should not be considered significant. 

Paper Covers 4. 5x7. 7 inches (1881 or 1882) 

Paper Covers 4.6x7.4 
Paper Covers 4.9x7.5 
Paper Covers 5.0x7. 7 
Paper Covers 5. 1x7.8 
Half Leather 4.7x7.6 
Half Leather 4.8x7.7 
Half Leather 4.9x7.7 
Half Leather 53x7.1 
Half Leather 5.4x8.1 
Half Leather 5.5x8. 1 







(1883M; 1883L) 

(1884L; 1886) 


The Asylum 

Endpapers: They are probably not diagnostic and cannot be used to 
determine different issues. They are included in the descriptions in an attempt 
to determine if they are diagnostic. 

Known Varieties: 

(1881) First Edition; dated 1881 on paper cover or frontis illustration; table 
of contents on pages 2-4; Snowden biography on page 43; pages 
2/107/blank leaf. 

a. Cream paper covers, no title on spine (4.5x7.7) 

b. Green cloth, endpapers with flowers and birds 

c. Dark olive cloth, endpapers black on blue flowers, spine dash 

d. Brown cloth 

(1882) Second Edition; dated 1881 on cover or frontis illustration; "Fourth 
Edition" on title page; table of contents 2-4; section on medals - pages 
37-47; 7 page Snowden biography begins on page 48; page 119 - 
Sherman letter dated Jan. 1, 1881; no ancients shown; pages 1/120. 

e. Peach paper covers; 4.5x7.7; one copy seen purchased 10/21/1882 

f. Burgundy half leather; endpapers white on green leaf; "*" on 
spine; 4.8x7.7 

g. Maroon half leather; endpapers white vines on lavender; 4.9x7.7 

h. Burgundy full leather, raised spine bands; all edges gilt; thick 
paper, frontispiece of Snowden 

(1883E) Transitional, title page without edition number, pl-118 same as (1882). 

Snowden biography page 48; Folger letter dated Jan. 1, 1883 found on 
page 119. Pages 1/120/8; unnumbered pages 1-6 contain a list of 
books for sale; unnumbered page 7 has "The New Five Cent Piece." 
with the first reverse; published after February 1, 1883; unnumbered 
page 8 has advertisement for Pierce College of Business. 

i. Pink paper covers. (5x7.7) 

(1883M) Transitional, dated 1881 on frontis illustration; Snowden biography on 
page 51; the "New Five Cent Piece" on 7th unnumbered page. Pages 

j. Dark brown half leather, green leaf endpapers (4.9x7.7) 

(1883L) Third Edition : Dated 1881 on frontis illustration; Pages 2/120/8. p47 
has "Superintendent’s Office," p48-50 "Illustrations" of Roman Coins, 
p51 repeats "Superintendent’s Office;" 4 page Snowden biography 
begins on p51; p55-118 same as (1882); "New Five Cent Piece" on 
unnumbered pi shows both reverses; "CENTS" reverse noted in text; 
p2-5: "Greek Coins;" p6: books for sale; p7: ad for Webster’s 
dictionary and Smith fpl; p8: ad for Bryant & Stratton College. 

k. Russet half leather, endpapers green on white birds, flowers and 
leaves. Third type spine with a star. 

Fall, 1991 


(1883T) Throwback edition; Title page marked "Fourth Edition" as (1882); 

pages 1/120/2; pages 1-120 same as (1882); single sheet glued to back 
endpaper; first side with advertisement for Webster’s Dictionary and 
Smith fpl; second side with "T he New Five Cent Piece" showing both 
reverses as (1883L). 

l. Black half leather, end papers white leaves and flowers on tan; 

(1884E) Transitional, dated 1884 on cover or frontis illustration. Otherwise 
organized as 1883L. Frontispiece of Snowden whose biography 
appears on page 51; "The New Five Cent Piece" with both reverses on 
the first unnumbered page; pages 1/120/8. 

m. Pink paper covers, no title on spine. (4.9x7.5) 

n. Pink paper covers, no title on spine. (5. 1x7.8) 

o. Red quarter leather and marbled cardboard covers; frontis 
illustration on pink paper; fourth spine type "Coins and Coinage - 
United States Mint" on spine. 

(1884L) Fourth Edition. Dated 1884 on cover or frontis illustration; Snowden 
biography appears on page 37; contents reorganized, with Table of 
Contents pages 2-4 from (1883E) not matching current page locations; 
pages 1-36 same as previous, medals section dropped. "The New Five 
Cent Piece" on page 65. Pages 2/106/21 

p. Pink paper covers (5.0x7.8) 

q. Brown half leather, endpapers tan leaves and flowers (5.4x8. 1) 

r. Red half leather. 

(1884T) Throwback edition; dated 1881 on frontis illustration, otherwise as 
1884L; frontispiece of Snowden with biography on page 37, "The New 
Five Cent Piece" on page 65; pages 2/106/21. 

s. Brown half leather, endpapers black flowers on green. (5.4x8.1) 

t. Black half Leather, endpapers white leaves on green. (5.4x8.1) 

(1885E) Transitional, dated 1884 on cover; frontispiece of Fox with biography 
on pages 1-4 replacing table of contents; pages 105/26. 

u. Pink paper covers, title on spine (4.6x7.4) 

(1885L) Fifth Edition. Undated, frontis illustration dropped; frontispiece of Fox 
with biography pages 1-4 replacing Table of Contents; p5-36 same as 
(1884L), Snowden biography replaced with Greek coins p37-42; pages 
43-105 same as (1884L); five new pages of ancient coins added to end; 
last page promotes a fixed price list; pages 2/105/21. 

v. Brown half leather. (5.5x8. 1) 

w. Dark brown half leather, endpapers tan leaves. (5. 3x7. 7) 

x. Brown half leather, endpapers light green blossoms and leaves, 


The Asylum 

y. Red half leather, endpapers black branches on gray. (5.3x7.7) 

z. Green half leather, endpapers black branches on gray. (53x7.7) 

(1886) Same organization as (1885L) except last page promotes both fixed 
price list and Encyclopaedia; pages 2/105/21 

aa. Red or burgundy half leather, endpapers black branches on gray 
(5.4x8. 1) 

Sources: Armand Champa Collection 
Jack Collins Sale 10/1/1983 
Dan Hamelberg Collection 
George Kolbe Catalogues, various sales 
Eric Newman Educational Society library 
Minnesota Historical Society 
The author’s collection. 


The initials have been expanded alternately as Andrew Madson and Andrew Mason. 

Essex Co. Numismatic & Antiquarian Society Meeting 

At the last regular meeting of this society, a "bibliomanaic" 
member offered for inspection some rare pamphlets and books, the 
latter being especially delightful to the book-hunter by reason of their 
lovely uncut condition, and stainless preservation from the vandal work 
of that abandoned old reprobate Father Time - from whom it is the 
province of the above society to rescue and preserve mementoes of the 
past, interesting alike to the numismatist, bookhunter and antiquarian. 

Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collectors’ Magazine, August 1869 

The Printer’s Devil 

Joel J. Orosz 

Prices realized by special editions of nineteenth century coin auction 
catalogues have crashed! Hardbound, special paper editions have simply gone 
begging for lack of interested buyers. Are you shocked? Unlax, as Bugs Bunny 
used to say. Your sneaky columnist did not say that special editions are 
crashing, rather that they have crashed. And so they have — long ago, that is - 
in the latter half of 1881. As chronicled by that learned and often pugnacious 

Fall, 1991 


coin merchant Ed. Frossard, in the January 1882 issue of Nwnisma, the story 
of the bust in the ten-issued-with-thick-paper market makes for fascinating 
reading today. 

In the Summer and Autumn of 1881, the nation’s attention was riveted 
upon its stricken leader, James Abrahm Garfield. Felled on July 2 by a bullet 
fired by a disappointed office seeker, the President lingered for more than two 
months, alternately sinking and rallying, before finally dying on September 19. 
Less momentously, but with similar drama, life was also ebbing out of the 
market for special edition numismatic catalogues during these anxious weeks. 
By the time that Ed. Frossard chronicled its sorry state in the first month of 
1882, the market for these publications was all but extinct. 

Frossard began by noting that special editions have been "regularly 
issued by the pioneers of the coin trade," and "readily sold at from $4 to $10 per 
copy." "Subsequently," he continued, "with an increase in the number of sales 
and a consequent decrease in their importance, the prices fell to $1 or $2, but 
were for a long time sustained at those rates." The collapse of this stable 
market occurred, according to the Sage of Irvington-on-Hudson, because coin 
sales were by then being held weekly, and often one catalogue was just a 
repetition of sections from earlier sales. All of this resulted in Frossard’s 
mince-no-words prose, "catalogues of once renowned cabinets bring little more 
than waste paper." 

Frossard hardly disapproved of frequent coin auctions, and he 
positively endorsed the idea of collecting catalogues of certain sales: "Every 
collector who collects for information, self culture and with higher aims than a 
mere accumulation of dates, should have a number of priced catalogues, 
selected with care, and bearing especially upon the particular branch of 
numismatics to the study of which he devotes his moments of leisure." 

If this was so, why then the dismal market for special editions? 
Brother Frossard offered a plausible explanation: "Some collectors gather a full 
series of catalogues, and the uninitiated is frequently astonished to see, at a coin 
sale, a valuable compendium of numismatic knowledge knocked down for 02<t, 
while a small, poorly composed, miserably gotten up, and altogether worthless 
catalogue of some obscure sale will bring $1- and more. This is not on account 
of the value of the latter, but simply because A, B, and C, who want to 
complete their series of catalogues are all bidders for the worthless one they 
lack, while the more valuable one is already in their collections and hence not 
wanted." It is fascinating to learn that there were a handful of collectors 
systematically gathering catalogues by scries in the early 1880s, for we have 
tended to regard numismatic bibliomania as a recent phenomenon. And 
interestingly, the same dynamic that Frossard identified continues to operate 
today, for many 19th century catalogues with important contents may be 
purchased for a mere pittance, while a number of early publications by Stacks 
or Bowers and Ruddy with relatively undistinguished contents trade for large 
sums. This is, of course, because of "Frossard’s Law:" catalogues collected by 
series generally fetch better prices than those that are not, and certainly often 
realize higher prices than their contents can justify. 


The Asylum 

Frossard, being Frossard, could not resist taking a swipe or two at his 
fellow coin dealers. John Walter Scott, as usual, was the primary target. "It is 
true that some malicious persons," wrote Frossard sarcastically, "have 
persistently spread the rumor that Scott’s catalogues up to N e 15 are a myth, and 
that several numbers were ’skipped,’ also that he never held a sale before 1878, 
and could not produce half the number claimed to have been issued, but the 
fact of their existence cannot for a moment be doubted, even if no one has ever 
seen a copy, when vouched for by so high an authority as Mr. Scott himself." 
There is some truth, but only some, in Frossard’s charge. The Scott firm 
emitted a total of 331 catalogues, some primarily of stamps, others 
predominately featuring coins, some when Scott ran the company, others when 
the Caiman brothers were the proprietors. In all this activity it may be possible 
to find a certain amount of misnumbering and confusion in sequence. Thanks 
to N.B.S. member John Adams, however, we can conclusively absolve Scott of 
the charge of never having held a sale before 1878. "The Great Boaster," as 
Frossard often called him, issued two numismatic sales in 1877, including the 
first in his series, which contained the discovery of the 1793 Clover Leaf Cent! 

Perhaps to prevent Scott from making similar charges about Frossard’s 
past sales, the editor of Numisma included in his article a complete list of his 
own auctions (and a similar list of S.K. Harzfeld’s sales). Frossard then 
concluded his article with some editorial comments about Emmanuel J. 
Attinelli’s Numisgraphics. After praising Altinelli’s magnum opus, Frossard 
noted that "the edition was unfortunately so small that it very soon became 
exhausted. A second edition, enlarged and brought up to January 1, 1882, 
would undoubtedly be received with pleasure by collectors of numismatic 
literature in general and would be a great practical use to those who make the 
collection of coin catalogues a specialty." This suggestion went unheeded for 
nearly a century, until Quarterman Publications finally came out with a reprint 
in 1976 featuring a foreword and price guide by John Adams. Frossard’s 
observation, however, does suggest that there may have been more 
bibliomanaics in the numismatic world of 1882 than we have heretofore 

History, it is said, goes around in cycles. The bust in special editions 
has not recurred, lamentably for your columnist who would then be an avid 
buyer. But numismatic bibliophiles A, B, and C still bid nondescript catalogues 
out of sight, continue to argue about whether reputed catalogues actually exist, 
and still wish certain books reprinted. The Sage of Irvington may be with us no 
longer, but the lure of the printed word about coins waxes stronger than ever. 
May it still be true when all of us have joined Brother Frossard in the land of 
the unlimited special editions - revised and corrected by the author. 

Fall, 1991 


One of the most important serial publications on numismatic 
literature we have encountered is currently running in the monthly 
issues of The Celator, Journal of Ancient Art and Artifacts. Written by 
N.B.S. member Dennis Kroh, each month’s installment is a monograph 
evaluating, rating (from 5 to -1 stars), and pricing the works of a 
specific area of Ancient Coinage. Covered since the series began in 
November 1990 have been Roman Empire - Handbooks, References, 
and Published Collections; Ancient Greek Coins - Handbooks, 
References, and Published Collections; SNG Series; Books on 
Byzantine; Roman Republican; Ancient Judaic and Biblical Coinage; 
Greek Coinage of Syracuse and Sicily; the Seleucid Kingdom; Roman 
Provincial ("Greek Imperials"). All back issues are available and may 
be obtained by writing The Celator, Box 123, Lodi, WI 53555. 

Exhibit Category Report 

Wayne Homren 

As those of you who attended the N.B.S. meeting at the A.N.A. 
already know, we were successful in our efforts to establish a new A.N.A. 
exhibit category for numismatic literature. Our Society owes a special thanks 
to member and ANA Governor Donn Pearlman who made the motion on our 
behalf at the ANA Board meeting August 12. The motion was carried 8-0 with 
Jim Halpern not in attendance. As the result of a request from the A.N.A. 
Board to submit a name by which the award might be known, we have chosen 
to honor the man who coined the phrase "Buy the book before the coin" by 
naming the award after pioneer bookseller Aaron Feldman. 

By the conclusion of the N.B.S. general meeting four days later, we 
had met our goal of raising the required $3,000 endowment. As soon as all 
pledged amounts have been collected by the Treasurer, we will forward the 
funds to the A.N.A. We owe our gratitude to the generous members who 
donated, pledged, or purchased items to help raise the necessary amount. 

Now it is up to the rest of us to make it happen. The exhibit category 
will be in place for the 1992 Annual Convention to be held in Orlando. As a 
prerequisite for the award consideration, we had submitted with our application 
the names of John J. Ford, George Kolbe, and Denis Loring as judges. Now 
it is time to recruit able exhibitors. If you are planning to attend the 
convention, we encourage you to consider entering an exhibit in this new 
category. Any topic is fair game, and if you have never exhibited before, don’t 
worry. It is fun and not really all that difficult. 


The Asylum 

L. Miles Raisig, longtime N.B.S. member, has submitted an 
addendum to Forrest Daniel’s Checklist of Numismatic Fiction (Volume 
IX N 5 ^). He would include Judith Ann Benner: Lone Star Rebel , John 
F. Blair, 1971. The adventures of a 14 year old Texas youth in and out 
of the Confederate Army, and his confrontation with counterfeiters 
whose activities threaten the Southern economy. 

A.N.A. Convention Notebook 

P. Scott Rubin 

Sunday, August 11 - 5 A.M: Left Trenton with Sam Colavita. 12 hours 
and 8 minutes later we were in Chicago. Sam goes into convention security to 
check in. While waiting for him, I run into Armand Champa, who is worried 
about Charlie Davis, who had left Louisville nine hours earlier with a truck 
loaded with Armand’s literature exhibit and hasn’t been seen since. The good 
news, however, is that Charlie had already arrived and that Armand’s books 
were safely tucked away in the Security Room. (A big "thank you" to the 
security guard who didn’t notice the 22 cartons of books when Armand inquired 
if Davis had arrived!). I go to the Holiday Inn to check in, and agree to meet 
Armand and crew for dinner. At 7:30 we meet Armand, his wife Kay and 2 
daughters, Charlie, John Bergman and his wife Mary, John Burns and Wayne 
Homren at the Hyatt. While waiting for the group to assemble, I meet Fred 
Lake for first time. Off to the restaurant where we find Superior Stamp & 
Coin having a Party for Big Spenders. We, of course, are not invited, 
numismatics not being the main topic at their dinner. 

Monday - August 12 - P.N.G. Day: After getting photo ID badge (the 
first of three I was to acquire), I return to hotel to meet Armand for a quick 
breakfast and then back to convention. With the help of Ruthann Bretell, I get 
Exhibitors Badges so Armand and I can meet Charlie, Wayne, Fred and John, 
who are assembling the 47 case Armand Champa Numismatic Literature 
Exhibit! The six of us labored (labored as in the case of the guy who has the 
tough job of being a Playboy photographer) from 9 to 5 to get the job done 
with James Taylor being coaxed to provide additional space and nearly inciting 
an international incident (the extra space came from the Russian Mint). My 
guess it’s the biggest display at convention, maybe ever, and it looks great. Q. 
David Bowers is on one side of us putting up his display of commemorative 
coinage, while John Kraljevich (the next QDB?) on the other side had counter 
stamped souvenirs at his display "ANA 100 J.K." with one cent dated for each 
year (1891-1991). At one of two breaks I’m allowed, I get 2 hot dogs and see 
Walter Breen and John Ford for first time at the convention. Many people 

Fall, 1991 


filter in while we are setting up display: Spangcnbcrger, Hamelberg, Burns, and 
many others that I meet for the first time. After a couple of hours to rest, out 
to dinner at Hyatt with Armand, Charlie, John and Mark Auerbach. Back to 
Hotel 10:30 P.M. 

Tuesday August 13: Official opening day of the convention. Went to 
the dedication of the Numismatic Postage Stamp with John Burns and Fred 
Lake. Had souvenir cards signed by all the dignitaries present. Ran into Donn 
Perlman and thanked him for presenting the Numismatic Literature Exhibition 
class proposal before the A.N.A. board for us. He noted it was a unanimous 
vote of approval. Back to the N.B.S. table to number copies of the Catalogue 
of the Armand Champa Exhibition, a beautiful catalogue prepared by George 
Kolbe. Davis, Homren, Lake and Bergman also pitched in with numbering and 
table sitting. Bought Pobjoy and French Commemoratives (I was the first buyer 
of each at the convention!). The England Medal and on and on. Went to 
Orville Grady’s table after Charlie reported sighting a Gilbert Half Cent book 
with Clarence Edgar’s name stamped on the front board. This turned out to 
be one of the three copies bound in 1941 by John Ford. I buy the book and 
later get Ford to inscribed the copy as such. Met recently reincarnated 
bookseller David Sklow. Bought Henry Chapman’s 1925 ANA membership 
card from Charlie. Run into Michael Hoddcr and go to Mark Auerbach’s talk 
in the Theater; Katens, Clain-Stefanelli, Carl Feldman, Gordon Frost, etc also 
were in attendance. 

Wednesday August 14: Spent the day collecting Passport coins for my 
daughter, looking at the Trompeter coins and Bowers and Broadway exhibits. 
Managed to get Newman & Bressett to autograph my copy of the A.N.A. 
anthology, and Fivaz and Stanton to autograph Cherry Pickers Guide II. Off 
to Ford’s great talk in the Theater. Curators ran away with World Series Semi- 
final. Denis Loring and I decide to market a plan whereby books are slabbed 
with a micro dot containing the contents of the book. Maybe we should 
copyright the idea before David Hall claims it. Loring showed me 1794 Double 
struck large cent. Saw, but didn’t buy, the Noyes books on Large Cents. Went 
to Superior’s meeting on New Auctions. Dinner at Italian restaurant at Hyatt 
with crazy waitress. Ken, Myron and his wife Daryl, Armand, Barry Tayman, 
Charlie Davis, Wayne Homren and Joel Orosz. Left C.P.A. Myron to deal 
with the tab: $70 for a salad!! N.B.S. Board Meeting at 8 P.M. accomplished 
quite a bit with minutes hopefully in a later issue of The Asylum. 

Thursday August 15: Sam Colavita wants to leave 5 AM Friday 
instead of staying the week. Back to N.B.S. table to number more Champa 
booklets and prepare for N.B.S. meeting. I could not find the agenda list, so 
we’ll wing it. The room filed up; 1 am so confused I tell board member 
Champa not to sit at board table (sorry about that, Armand!). I also forget to 
let John Wilson greet the group on behalf of the A.N.A; after being reminded, 
he speaks. The room is filled with book people, numismatists, and a 
combination of the two. Armand Champa Award given to Kolbe and Collins 
(our founders). Linda Kolbe is given a certificate of recognition (their 30th 
anniversary was observed several days earlier, and after 30 years of book talk 


The Asylum 

from George she deserves an award. What a great couple!) The Aaron 
Feldman award is given to Armand Champa for his work in promoting 
numismatic literature and our organization. Kay Champa is also the recipient 
of a richly deserved award for all she has done to make visitors feel at home 
when visiting Louisville. Denis Loring, development officer par excellence, 
passes the box (no one wears hats these days) to help fund the Numismatic 
Literature Exhibition Class approved by the A.N.A. Board. Aaron Feldman, a 
good friend and one of the few people who supported numismatic knowledge 
as the main reason for collecting numismatic items, is honored by having the 
exhibit award named in his memory. George Kolbe donates a two volume set 
of John Adams’ Numismatic Literature, autographed by all members in 
attendance at the meeting. John Bergman outduels Dan Hamelberg and pays 
$750, perhaps a steal when you consider that a leatherbound Judd, signed by 50 
numismatists in 1970 fetched $3300 last year. V.P. Homren donates one of 
three Armand Champa refrigerator magnets he had made up. Each has an 
identical picture of a standing Armand Champa. Wayne retains one, gives one 
to Armand and Charlie Davis is the winner of the third. I then present a talk 
on the Gilbert Half Cent book, which hopefully will lead to a paper to be 
published in The Asylum. Michael Hoddcr is the second speaker, and his 
discussion on the development of the catalogcr’s style is published in this issue. 
That evening, we reconvene for Armand’s symposium with John Adams, Kolbe, 
Ford, myself and Moderator Champa talking books. As if Armand had not 
done enough already, he donated several hundred books and catalogues to 
attendees. Included were a Stickney with plates, a John Story Jenks without, 
plated Cogans, early auction sales and the first two volumes of the Numismatic 
Scrapbook. And George Kolbe donates an Adams Volume II. (Now, don’t you 
wish you’d been there!) The night and the convention for me end with the 
N.L.G. bash. Bowers gets Book of the Year for Tl\e A.NA. Centennial History, 
Lovejoy best catalogue ... back to New Jersey. 

The Armand Champa Exhibit 

Charles Davis 

Those of you who read only Coin World may be completely unaware 
of the highlight of the A.N.A.’s 100th Anniversary Convention in Rosemont, 
Illinois - Numismatic Americana from the Library’ of Armand Champa. 
Consisting of forty-seven Allstate cases filled with selections from the Champa 
Library, this "non-competitive" exhibit displayed many of the rarest and most 
significant auction catalogues, standard references, fixed price lists, periodicals 
and other memorabilia of our numismatic heritage. 

Each individual who viewed the exhibit will remember several items 
of special personal importance, perhaps related to his collecting specialty. For 
me, it began at Case N S 1 with The Mickley Diary. Open to the page where its 

Fall, 1991 


writer records the discovery of the theft of a portion of his collection on April 
13, 1867, Mickley notes he has alerted local coin dealers, received their 
sympathetic visits, placed his remaining coins in safekeeping at the Mint (!), 
entertained Haseltine and Idler (unsuccessful bidders?), and finalized the sale 
of the balance to Elliot Woodward on April 30. His purchase of a bond in the 
amount of $10,000 on May 17 indicates the magnitude of the transaction and 
the speed, five weeks from robbery to payment, with which it was undertaken. 

Later cases included the most complete collection of plated Elder 
sales, complete small plated Chapmans, a prospectus to Attinelli, The Thian 
Register with two of the six currency albums originally prepared, the Lee work 
on Confederate Currency, Franklin Pierce’s copy of Ormsby, no fewer than nine 
leather bound Mehls, Edgar Adams’ notebook on Hard Times Tokens, five 
copies of Crosby including two from the author’s estate, leatherbound editions 
of The Bond Detector, Browning, Marvin, Newcomb, Snowden ... and a dazzling 
display of Alan Grace’s finest craftsmanship. 

Augmenting the display was an Exhibition Catalogue prepared by 
George Kolbe designed to compliment its visual aspects. In his inimitable style, 
Mr Kolbe has, for each of 119 items, highlighted the historical significance, 
rarity, and provenance of the particular copy displayed. Published in an edition 
of 1,500 and nearly fully distributed, we have retained approximately 50 copies 
and will send one to any N.B.S. member who was not at the Convention. 
Please address your request to the Editor, and enclose $2.00 for postage. 


Specializing in 

Nuinisirinlics, Antiques & Collectibles 
(818) 362-2173 

8655 South Sepulveda Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90045 
Yi Mile North of LAX Airport 
l urge Selection of 
Niunisiruilic Books 

14034 Ventura Blvd. 
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 
Near Hazeltine 
Large Selection of 
Books on Collectibles 


The Asylum 

TEL: 071-930 7888. FAX: 071-839 4853. TELEX: 916711. 

English Paintings and Watercolours • Silver, Jewellery and Paperweights 
Oriental, Asian and Islamic Art • Textiles • Medals • Coins • Bullion • Banknotes 

Fall, 1991 


Alfred Szego A Remembrance 

George Kolbe 

1 initially became acquainted with Al Szego in the late 1970’s when he 
started participating in our numismatic book sales. A few years later, I met him 
at a New York coin show. For the most part, though, our business relationship 
and subsequent friendship was carried on via the telephone. In the late 1980’s, 
Al became more loathe to travel, and I did not see him often at the annual New 
York sales, although last year was a welcome exception. 

In between, we (mostly Al) contributed to the welfare of the verbal 
communications business. Rarely, if ever, would a sale go by without hearing 
from him. Along with his bids there was usually a moment or two of friendly 
conversation. It was hard to hang up the phone and not feel better than before. 
Scholarly, seemingly shy and retiring, Al was, above all, a people person. 

He once told me about his entrance into the coin business. In 1955, 
Al was a television repairman at the time when there were not two TV’s in the 
house an a VCR in every den. He was not overly busy, and the bank account 
was low. Concerned and caring about other people to a fault, Al probably 
spent more helping the owners than fixing their television sets. 

One of his customers planned to pay part of an overdue bill by selling 
a large accumulation of old coins to local dealer. Al figured that if the coin 
dealer was offering $30.00 he could afford to deduct $35.00 from the repair bill 
in exchange. Toting home a big box of foreign coins, it occurred to him that 
he knew nothing about them. With the help of J. W. Scott’s and Wayte 
Raymond’s Coins of the World, and not least, Augusta, - his "partner in life and 
business" as she terms it - they went to work. Soon there was a pile of coins, 
less than one-fourth by volume, with a total "catalogue" value of $200.00. Their 
first ad in Popular Mechanics : 32 foreign coins and a price list for $1.00 was a 
resounding success. 

By the time I became acquainted with Al, he had already amassed an 
impressive numismatic library. Mention a standard work, and he had it. I liked 
the way he bid in my sales and the many European sales where I acted on his 
behalf. If he did not really need a book, he might bid two-thirds or so of the 
estimate. If the book was important to his researches, however, he rarely lost 
it. When he did, it was invariably with good grace. 

Al’s many kindnesses, joy of life and thirst for knowledge will always 
be remembered by those fortunate enough to have known him. Numismatic 
researcher and author, amateur botanist and talented artist among other 
accomplishments, Alfred Szego, large in both intellect and stature, was a gentle 


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NEWS because it's the best publication in the 

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NUMISMATIC NEWS should be your 
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special bonus, you'll receive a FREE 
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Fall, 1991 


The Money Tree 

1260 Smith Court 
Rocky River, OH 44116 
Office: (216) 333-3444 
Fax: (216) 333-4463 

Instead of 

"Buy the book, before you buy the coin" 

Change it to 

"Contact The Money Tree before 
You buy the book before you buy the coin." 

The Money Tree 

Dealers in Important and Rare 
Numismatic Literature 
We Buy, Sell, and Auction Worthwhile 
Collections and Libraries 

Myron Xenos and Ken Lowe 
Members: ANA, NLG, NBS, ANS, EAC 


The Asylum 

Gerard van Loon 

1732, 1736 and 1737. Five parts in two volumes. Volume 1, Tome Premier: 
Engraved portrait plate of van Loon facing the engraved title plate, (1), 
half-title, (1) title page (9), (17) page preface, (3), 559, (1) pages. Tome 
Second: Half title, (1), title page, (1), 541, (1) pages. Volume 3, Tome 
Troisieme: Half-title, (1), title page, (1), 454 pages. Tome Quatrieme: 
Half-title, (1), title page, (1), 130, fold-out coin plate, 131-467, (1) pages. 
Tome Cinquieme: Half title, (1), title page, (1), 444 pages. Titles printed 
in red and black with engraved vignettes. Medal engravings throughout 
text. Folio. Attractively and sturdily bound in tree calf by Ophof of 
Rotterdam. A fine clean set. $2,000. 

Clain-Stefanelli 14855*, Engel and Serrure 4341, Lipsius page 235. Covers not only Dutch 
medals but European coins and medals 1555-1716 connected with the history of the 
Netherlands. A magnificent antiquarian work which remains the standard reference. 

Color photos may be had for $5. 

Available postpaid and properly packaged from: 

John F. Bergman 

4223 Iroquois Ave, 

Lakewood, CA 90713 USA 

Phone 213-421-0171 

After 4 PM PST, and on weekends 

Fall, 1991 


I Want to Buy for My Library 

I will purchase complete runs, duplicates or 
single copies of the following periodicals: 

FROSSARD’S numisma 
Scott Coin collectors Journal 


Steigerwalt’s Coin journal; The Curio; price Lists 
Elder’s monthly; magazine 
Numismatic Antiquarian of Philadelphia 
Canadian Antiquarian Journals 

Proceedings of the American archaeological Society 

Also Wanted 



Armand Champa 

P.O. Box 22316 
Louisville, KY 40222 

Numismatic Literature 

Complete Libraries or 
Individuals Titles Bought 
or Accepted for Auction 

Selections from Stock: 

THOMAS SNELLING: A View of Silver Coinage of England 
from the Norman Conquest..; A View of the Gold Coinage of 
England from Henry III ...; A View of the Copper Coinage of 
England ...; Views of the Coins Struck by English Princes in 
France ; A View of the Origin and Use of Jetons ...; Thirty 
Plates of English Medals ...; 1762-1776, six works bound as 
one, antiqued half calf. $500 

HENRY PHILLIPS: Historical Sketches of the Paper Currency 
of the American Colonies , (and) Second Series Continental 
Paper Money, 1865-66, original rose-maroon cloth, 2 volume 
set N®3/250 initialed by Elliot Woodward. $425 

Superb Collection of U.S. Coins belonging to H.O. Granberg, 
1915, original cloth, 7 superb photographic plates. $3,000 

Charles Davis 

Box 1412 

Morristown, NJ 07962 

Tel: (201) 993 4431 Fax: (201) 993 5179 

Member since 1968 ANA, EAC; also ANS, NBS, NLG